Civic society leaders meet SADC chair over Zim situation and involvement of army in civilian affairs


Civic society leaders yesterday met the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) chairperson and Namibian President Hage Geingob to brief him on political developments in the country.

The delegation told Geingob that the Zimbabwean society was heavily polarised with a huge trust deficit, and that the post-election period had simply worsened the situation.

“There is an unfolding economic meltdown which has witnessed high levels of inflation, an increase in the domestic debt, which has compromised the government’s capacity for the provision of social services.

If left unresolved, this has regional economic, social and security effects,” the delegation said in a statement.

The delegation also bemoaned the increasing involvement of the military in civilian affairs, in contradiction to Sadc’s democratic governance standards.

“Since November 17, 2017, there has been an unwarranted ubiquitous presence of the military in all spheres of the State, including public spaces and a glaring interference with the day-to-day duties of other entities such as local authorities,” the statements read.

“The events of August ,1 in which the military shot seven unarmed civilians in the full glare of both regional and international media, is evidence of this.”

The delegation highlighted the deterioration of the situation in the country following the 2018 harmonised elections, calling for Sadc to facilitate political dialogue to diffuse escalating tensions.

The delegation members were drawn from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations and Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum.

— NewsDay

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